AP NEWS

New Mexico House GOP seeks answers on Albuquerque ‘surge’

January 7, 2020 GMT
FILE - In this July 9, 2019 file photo, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham speaks during a news conference in Santa Fe, N.M. An advocacy group for retired public employees assailed core provisions of a pension reform proposal in defiance of recommendations by the governor, at a legislative hearing Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)
FILE - In this July 9, 2019 file photo, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham speaks during a news conference in Santa Fe, N.M. An advocacy group for retired public employees assailed core provisions of a pension reform proposal in defiance of recommendations by the governor, at a legislative hearing Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico House Republicans are seeking answers around a so-called surge last year of state police fighting crime in Albuquerque that allowed many suspects to walk.

Seven House Republicans sent a letter Friday to Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham requesting an investigation into the much-criticized “Operation Surge.”

The 60-day surge was touted as a way to crack down on violent crime in Albuquerque by bringing in state police officers from rural parts of the state.

But a KOAT-TV analysis in December found that most of the cases involving the surge of New Mexico State Police fighting crime in Albuquerque were later dismissed.

According to a detail examination of cases, the station found that 52% of those cases were tossed for a variety of reasons, including shoddy paperwork or a lack of evidence.

The station discovered that some of the cases were dismissed because state police officers didn’t show up to court hearings.

The Republicans said the “disappointing anti-crime operation” sent a message to criminals that they likely won’t be prosecuted for crimes.

“The public deserves an official accounting from the administration, regarding ‘Operation Surge’,” said House Minority Leader Jim Townsend. “Resources from across the state were redirected to increase public safety, and if our criminal justice system is rubber-stamping release of these criminals, we need the agencies involved to explain why.”